In December, the parliament of the Bundesland of Upper Austria decided to grant funding for the creation of the Raiffeisen Arena in Linz. Government aid is to amount to a maximum of € 30 million. The future host of the venue, LASK Linz, intends to allocate € 65 million for the construction from its own funds.
Total costs too big for LASK
Initially, it seemed that LASK would be able to handle the construction of the stadium on its own and it would be entirely financed by the club. However, it turned out that external help would be necessary. Governor Thomas Stelzer and regional sports councilor Markus Achleitner have announced that the venue will receive a maximum of € 30 million in funding. For this purpose, appropriate resolutions have been adopted, both at the local and national level.
A year ago, representatives of the city of Linz reached an agreement on the stadium with the Upper Austria authorities. Now the arrangements between the interested parties will transform into real financial assistance in the construction of the Raiffeisen Arena. Funds will come from the Achleitner sports department and from the Plan for Upper Austria (the government's plan to boost the economy).
At the moment (December 2020), the final cost of building the facility is not known. It was only disclosed how much each party is ready to spend on the construction of the venue. Unofficially, it is said that the total cost will be around € 80 million. Rumours also say that the creation of an underground passage to the Olympic Center, which is located near the planned stadium, will be abandoned.
First works at the beginning of 2021
The construction of the Raiffeisen Arena is planned to start in early 2021, and the opening in the summer of 2022. As a result of this, the club from Upper Austria will start the 2022/23 season on a new facility. LASK will be playing in Pasching during construction of the stadium.
The venue is located in the vicinity of the picturesque Gugl hill. It was designed as a typical football arena. The facility will replace the old Linzer Stadion, the demolition of which will begin in January 2021 and will take two months. The estimated capacity of the Raiffeisen Arena is 19,500 seats.
The Linzer Stadion, due to its running track, hosted the athletics competition. As a result of the planned demolition of the facility, athletes were forced to move to the Oberbank-Arena in a different part of the city. In addition, music concerts of such stars as Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi and Pink were held at the aforementioned stadium.
Multifunctionality is the key to success
On December 14th, public consultations were held with residents who are concerned about the expected increase in noise and road traffic. They have the possibility to raise complaints to the administrative court regarding the construction permit for the stadium. The entire process is to be completed by the end of the year and it will not affect the start of demolition works, which are subject to a separate procedure.
Stadium architect Harald Fux believes that the stadium in Linz, due to its multi-functionality, is for everyone and will be teeming with life, not only during match days. It is supposed to be friendly to families with children thanks to the kindergarten planned on the site, as well as bars and restaurants. In addition, a chapel is planned, and even a medical facility with an operating theatre.
Author: Tomasz Sobura